Apples and Snakes: Rallying Cry

The new Government in July created a growing feeling of hope for many in the dire social-economic circumstances many of us currently face. For the younger generation, it was the biggest change in leadership of their lives so far. The impact this will have is unknown.

A handful of the freshest new poets from across the UK  explore what it means to them to be English in the changing world that we live in. Together, they look forward to the future and how positive change could shape the country.

Featuring:  Cherry Eckel, Antonia Jade King, Iftikhar Latif, Saili Katebe & Coventry’s Poet Laureate John Bernard.

Apples and Snakes is England’s leading spoken word poetry organisation. We are spoken word trailblazers, with artists at our heart. We bring together unheard voices in interesting ways, creating inspiring experiences for our audiences.

We will be there on Friday 2nd August in the afternoon (around 3pm but this may change!).

About the Poets

Cherry Eckel is a theatre-maker, spoken-word poet, performer and facilitator, born and raised in London, with experience working across the UK and Europe with companies such as Battersea Arts Centre, Apples and Snakes, Young Identity, Contact Manchester, Boundless Theatre, Kulturzentrum dasHaus and Fameus Antwerp. She aims to create work that is collaborative, interdisciplinary, truthful, and electric. Cherry’s work has been featured on BBC Radio London’s ‘The Scene with Alice Dale’ and was selected for the 2022 Outspoken Poetry Prize longlist in the Performance Poetry Category. In 2023, Cherry launched her podcast, The Exam Hall. Each episode, she is joined by a guest to answer a question from what is known as the hardest exam in the world, the All Souls Fellowship Exam. She is currently studying English and Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Iftikhar Latif is a writer and poet of British-Bangladeshi descent. His work often refers to the British Asian experience, immigrant family relationships, deconstructions of masculinity and media culture. He is cofounder and producer of ‘Off The Chest’, which is an Arts Council funded poetry organisation that creates spaces for poetry through open mic nights and developmental workshops. He has worked with the V&A for their 2022 ‘Drip Maketh the Man’ project, and was part of the Apples and Snakes 2022 Writing Room. He has also worked with Apples and Snakes as a resident poet at The Sidings in Waterloo Station.

Antonia Jade King (she/her) is a PHD scholar, a Leo and loyal member of the Beyhive. As well as being one of the hosts of Boomerang Club she has performed at numerous events including Love Supreme, Rallying Cry at Battersea Arts Centre and she was a finalist at the Hammer & Tongue slam at the Royal Albert Hall. Antonia has also featured at Poetry and Shaah, Heaux Noire, Jawdance and Process Poetry Night. She is proud to have taken part in Apples and Snakes Writing Room programme and Barbican Young Poets, her debut pamphlet ‘She Too Is a Sailor’ is out with Bad Betty Press.

Saili Katebe is a writer, performer and workshop facilitator. Born in Zambia and now based in the South West of England, his work celebrates language and the power of story. Author of his debut poetry Pamphlet, “Katabasis”, published by Frosted Fire Press. His work has been featured on BBC Arts and BBC Radio Bristol Bristol. From commissions to collaboration, he looks for opportunities to explore and express the nuances of moving through the world.

Coventry Poet Laureate John Bernard is a spoken word performer. With a captivating blend of raw emotion, powerful storytelling, and thought-provoking insights, John Bernard has established himself as a notable name in the spoken word scene. 

John extends his impact beyond performances through active community engagement. He leads creative workshops, empowering young minds to find their voice and express themselves through the art of poetry and music. 

About Wilderness

Rockers and roamers. Hedonists and heroes. Drifters and dreamers. Children wise, weird and wild. Welcome. Step in and linger. We invite you on an escapade like no other. 

Thirteen years in the crafting, this place is a gathering of tribes, a meeting of minds, a melting pot of masters and mysteries. A hypnotic and euphoric musical ensemble sits amidst the most majestic of landscapes. You are embarking on a no-holds-barred tour of the arts. We have created a place where you can keep reality at arm’s length, where experience is everything: a humming microcosm in the wilderness that dazzles and thrills every single sense. It’s time to let your guard down. Explore far and wide.

Bask in the shade of an ancient oak as the music plays, with a cocktail and your accomplice to keep you warm. Rise early to run or to write. Swim naked. Rap for hundreds on stage. Write a love poem over breakfast, wander the woods foraging for tidbits. Go wild at sunset as your hero blazes before you onstage, lounge under the rafters with the troubadours.  Dine beside a deep freshwater lake, pimp a pineapple, learn to salsa or to swing and hit a drag king show. Throw an axe or two, wrestle a stranger for their socks, roll in the grass, play cricket, limber up to dance yourself sillier and sillier and lose most of your marbles somewhere in a late night labyrinth of laughter and beats… 

Expand your horizons. Raze your walls. Throw open boundaries and allow your buttons to be pushed. Stretch your grin wide and unleash your wildest side. Kick off your shoes and feel the thrill as you relax into your truest incarnation. Allow us to transport you. Leave your stepping stones behind: this is a space for you to be truly free. Take your journey with wide eyes and an open heart; be mindful of coincidences. They make sense. 

The festival has a pulse, a beating heart, and thousands of colourful characters coursing through its veins. Its population is the lifeblood. You are vital here.

Wilderness runs from 1 -4 Aug, Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire.

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